‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’: Did Boston Rob Mariano Make a Huge Mistake With His Fire Tokens? — Jeff Probst Weighs In

During episode 8 of Survivor Winners at War, the castaways from the Edge of Extinction finally get a chance to get back into the game. However, they had to decide what to purchase with their fire tokens first. Fans think that Boston Rob Mariano and Natalie Anderson both made the wrong call on what to do with theirs, but host Jeff Probst is not so sure. 

[Spoiler alert: Survivor 40: Winners at War Episode 8 spoilers ahead.]

Survivor Edge of Extinction Battle
Natalie Anderson, Amber Brkich Mariano, Danni Boatwright, Ethan Zohn, Tyson Apostol, Boston Rob Mariano, Parvati Shallow and Yul Kwon | Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

What did Rob purchase with his 4 Fire Tokens on ‘Survivor 40’ Episode 8?

In episode 8 of Survivor Winners at War, everyone on the Edge purchased items with their fire tokens before the challenge. Rob’s wife, Amber Mariano, immediately gave up her fire token so that her husband might have a better chance of getting back into the game. 

Both Rob and Natalie use their four tokens to purchase one advantage at the challenge. They use the other three tokens to buy an immunity idol that is only useful if they return to the game. Several other players also purchase one advantage for the challenge. 

All of the Edge inhabitants except Amber, Yul Kwon, and Parvati Shallow buy an advantage. Fans want to know why Rob and Natalie did not purchase more advantages to guarantee they return to the game. They could have bought up to three.

Jeff Probst believes there is value in having an immunity idol when returning to ‘Survivor’

“Everybody sees value in different things,” Probst told Dalton Ross from Entertainment Weekly. “The menu of choices was designed specifically to explore this idea.”

He goes on to say that Natalie and Rob felt they would get voted out if they returned to the game without an idol. 

“So for them, the protection of an idol made sense,” he continued. “But to your point, you could make the counterargument that even an idol would only protect them for one Tribal Council. So, maybe better to spend your tokens for every advantage you can in the challenge, and then if you get back in the game you can take on the next problem of how to stay in the game.”

Probst loves that the new Survivor currency brings with it these tough decisions. He also noted that both Natalie and Rob no longer have any tokens or that immunity idol they purchased. 

Fans think that Rob and Natalie both made a mistake with their fire tokens

“Rob (and Natalie) should have forgone the idols and just gotten three advantages,” wrote one fan on Reddit.

Other fans were also shocked to see both Rob and Natalie purchase only one advantage instead of the three maximum. 

“Rob should have used his fire tokens to buy the three maximum advantages instead of an idol,” added another Redditor. “An idol is useless if you don’t get back in, and having three advantages when everyone else has one or none would have guaranteed him the win.”

However, some fans see what Probst is saying about the immunity idol. 

“But Rob is a big enough threat that he’d likely get the revolving door treatment if he came back into the game without some type of advantage (especially with how his usual domineering play-style has fallen flat this season),” wrote another viewer. “And as long as no one else is buying two or three advantages, you’re not putting yourself in any kind of hole by only buying one.”

Read more: ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’: Fans Think That Michele Will Win the Sole ‘Survivor’ Title After the Edit on Episode 7